China’s Changan Automobile to Begin Mass Production of ‘Driverless’ Cars

It looks like China will soon have its first mass-market self-driving cars.

According to Caixin, state-backed automaker Changan Automobile will start mass production of a “conditional” self-driving vehicle.

Dubbed the UNI-T, the car is a “Level 3” autonomous vehicle which requires a human driver to take control in case of emergencies. It features a sensing system made up of millimeter-wave radars, ultrasonic radars, and video cameras, thereby creating three-dimensional maps of the “360-degree environment of the vehicle in real-time.”

UNI-T’s maximum detection radius stretches out to 200 meters, while its detection accuracy comes within 10 centimeters.

Changan’s move comes a month after the nation’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), as well as several other government agencies, unveiled an autonomous vehicle development plan which states that the country should achieve mass production of vehicles featuring “conditional” self-driving capabilities by 2025.

It also comes as search engine giant Baidu broke ground on its RMB1 billion ($142 million) “Level 4” vehicle testing base. The base, the company said, is the first in the country.

Photo: Rutger van der Maar